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Retail Buying & Merchandising (previously known as Retail Division) offers a one-stop shop of retail industry expertise across home and fashion sectors, providing a bespoke service. This is an exclusive benefit of AIS membership.

AIS brings together the very best industry best practice for merchandising and budget management for today’s fashion and homewares environment, within independent retail.

With our AIS tool kit and using the data you provide, we can support you with your annual planning and budgeting and your trading strategy, as well as embedding strong principles to drive success, improve margins and profitability through analysis, performance review, phasing, and forecasting.


Retail Buying and Merchandising Benefits


Planning and Budgeting

With seasonal performance reports at your fingertips future seasonal budgets and investments can be planned better. AIS provides recommendations on budgets and spend using historical performance, current seasonal performance, intake margin and where applicable stock levels to enhance your profitability.


We can provide full visibility of your sales, markdown, margin and profit by style, product category and department so you can really understand your business and trading patterns. Our reporting will help you analyise and assess “New” season performance versus older product to save you time in manual auditing. Real time analysis means you will be able to optimise each season and we will be able to quickly identify your key lines to trade and replenish by category, style, and size. You'll know poor sellers too and AIS can recommend your markdown strategy.


Stock Management

We can protect your best-selling lines that take a high percentage of department sales. Our delivery scheduling service allows visibility of all your orders placed and their delivery dates to allow you to plan and prepare


The Art of Buying and Brand Selection


Curating collections, brands and products tailored to an independent retailer’s customer base and location is a specialist skill which combines creativity and experience with strategy, commercial acumen, and sector insight knowledge.

AIS has a team of experts to help you range plan, negotiate the very best prices, and develop your promotions to maximise every sales opportunity across fashion and home.

We can support you with:

  • Planning newness, core, and promotional ranges with our range planning tools
  • Advise you on RRP’s to deliver brand standard mark-up/margin 
  • Provide brand management/product price architecture  
  • Introducing good, better, best an effective approach for analysing value-for-money - quality and price
  • Help you to understand your customer profile age, fashionability, demographic  
  • Recommend shop floor layouts including brand and product adjacencies to improve the customer journey and opportunity


Exclusive Own Brand Labels


With our AIS exclusive own label products across fashion and home, we help you stand out on your high street; giving you the benefits that own labels deliver including strong margins and effective stock forecasting. As a member of AIS you can also contribute to our future product development to drive growth and sales.


Supplier Relationship Management


Our teams have developed and secured a breadth of suppliers to suit any independent retailer.

AIS can leverage buying power and negotiate the best prices for you.

We'll help oversee the relationship with brands and suppliers, saving you time with the assurance that you have an expert team working on your behalf.

We also work with suppliers to provide available digital assets management, product information and images to use on websites and marketing campaigns.